As once again Northern Ireland’s political problems, single issue-stalemates and somewhat predictable stubborn impasse leads to the arrival of yet another American diplomat to get involved in our wee country’s problems, (and no doubt cost a whopping sum to the tax-payer’s purse presumably paying for him?), one wonders why and how it came to be that America is the one we look to every time to sort out our problems?
Like the bastard child estranged from her parents, Northern Ireland continues to need ongoing helping hand from her American ‘Uncle’, bypassing the English parents she, on many sides, often despises.
A certain Mr George Mitchell, another US diplomat and academic, was similarly employed in the past recent years to try to help us sort out our problems and act as something of a go-between and so-called neutral facilitator.
Now this week saw the arrival to Belfast of the New York born Dr Haass, a 62-year-old diplomat employed to get us to proverbially, if not physically, ‘bash our heads together’ and seek to bring proper intervention to the things which still remain as bitterly contested, sensitive issues in our more fragile than ever state of so-called ‘peace’.
The USA remains both our friend and guide it seems, in such matters, much to the disdain of many. Nothing against Americans (whom I for one, have come to love and appreciate very very dearly).
It is thought, however, that if we cannot sort out our own problems ourselves, then how the heck is another American going to help the situation?
The problems lie much deeper.
To take it back to a previous article here on this blog, there are roots, not just shoots, that must be dealt with if Northern Ireland is to ever truly move beyond her often buried, unspeakable deeply dug problems. No American nor magician can ever solve such deeply rooted spiritual problems, no matter how much diplomacy and Yankee doodle charm one employs (no offence Dr Haass).
I welcome his efforts and exploits, and any slight move forward can only be a good thing. However, the leaders of our land beyond the political sphere must arise and take their stand more diligently if our nations’ problems are to truly be resolved.
Where are the voices, I would ask, speaking out strongly and coming from the Presbyterian church, for example, or the Catholic, Church or Ireland, or Methodist for that matter? Where are the strong and concise voices beyond the right and left wing political spheres?
Perhaps even more tellingly, where are the so-called self-confessed ‘non-denominational’ churches on these matters? Churches such as ‘Vineyard’ and ‘New Frontiers, ‘CFC’ and many others like them who represent a significant proportion of Protestant-slanted Christians in this ‘wee country’ of ours, who would profess to seek peace, but with what practical solutions?
Where there is a vacuum, it shall be filled by something, or more specifically someone else.
Just some of the questions and queries and thoughts I have. I would welcome yours. Debate is most definitely welcome here.
More next time on the actual deep roots I am talking about. With perhaps a wee bit of an Irish history lesson, for those who care to take interest.
God bless America, and Dr Haass, he will need all the help he can get.
The issues of ‘flegs’, parades, the past and other such sensitivities haven’t gone away you know.